Local Trail Systems Offer Pathways to the Environment
By N.R. Mallery, G.E.T. Publisher
NEW ENGLAND is a destination vacation — to the many tourists who come from all over to “g.e.t.” outdoors in a clean, healthy environment right here where we live. And aren’t we fortunate to be able to live here with all that our outdoors offer?
Hiking, mountain and road biking and camping on our own trail systems keeps it local and sustainable by using our muscles and not motors — a great way to help to reduce our own carbon footprint. Leave your footprint on the ground and not into the atmosphere.
There are trails for all levels of ability, from the beginner to Olympians. From day hikes to backpacking, it’s just great fun.
Here is a list of some great regional trails:
Kingdom Trails in Northeast Vermont is a multiple-use trail system unlike any other and has been voted as the Best Mountain Bike and Trail Network in North America by Bike Magazine. There are hiking and biking trails for all levels of ability. East Burke in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. 802.626.0737, kingdomtrails.com.
Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center offers 45 km of trails at the base of Mt. Washington for enjoyable biking, running or walking. Spectacular panoramic views of the Presidential Mountain Range. Pinkham Notch, NH. 603-466-2333, greatglentrails.com.
The Appalachian Trail (AT) has 1,800 miles of trails in our region for hiking and summer fun from Maine to Georgia. Lodges, huts, swimming, camping — this is the famous trail system in our own backyard. 617-523-0636, 603-466-2721, 413-528-8003, www.outdoors.org.
The Long Trail (LT) is Vermont’s “footpath in the wilderness,” and the oldest long distance hiking trail in America. With its 273-mile footpath, 175 miles of side trails, and nearly 70 primitive shelters, the LT offers endless hiking opportunities for the day hiker, weekend overnighter, and extended backpacker. 802-244-7037, www.greenmountainclub.org
The Catamount Trail (CTA) has 300 miles trails through Vermont, from the MA border to the Canadian border, and offers all levels of terrain for nearly everyone. The trail is well maintained and open to the public. (802-864-5794, www.catamounttrail.org).
Sleepy Hollow Inn Ski & Bike Center is solar-powered and as sustainable as it gets, with 35 km of trails for hiking and mountain biking. Huntington, VT (802-434-2283; www.skisleepyhollow.com)
Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Craftsbury, Vermont is big with sculling in the summer, is solar-owered and teaches sustainable practices for managing the surrounding environment. (802-586-7767, www.craftsbury.com)
Stump Sprouts in Hawley, MA also has solar and is located in rural northwest Massachusetts. They are described as “Home grown…Unique, Sustainable.” There are 25 km of trails on 450 acres. The summit of Lone Boulder Hill has a scenic vista of three states. (413-339-4265, www.stumpsprouts.com)
Maine Huts & Trails offer biking, hiking, paddling, swimming and fishing. They have events designed to make the most of their beautiful trail system and our interconnected collection of state-of-the-art huts. (207) 265-2400, www.mainehuts.org